Oh yes it`s common, worldwide as well as here in the Middle East and GCC! Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a health problem that affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age (8 – 20% of women globally). Also known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, affected women have a hormonal imbalance and metabolism problems that may affect their overall health and appearance. 


Affected women may experience a multitude of symptoms such as missed, infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods, excessive hair growth, acne and obesity, to name a few. Male hormone (androgen) levels may also be high. This hormonal imbalance causes women to skip menstrual periods and makes it harder for them to get pregnant. Moreover, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is one of those health conditions known to increase a woman’s risk of developing endometrial cancer, with some researches linking it to breast and ovarian cancer, mostly because of the associating hormonal disturbance.

Despite being one of the most common hormonal disorders affecting women, the exact causes of PCOS are not fully known till now and many women are without a proper diagnosis. Early diagnosis and management along with weight loss may reduce the risk of long-term health complications such as type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

A wealth of information is available about PCOS, but it can be confusing sometimes to know where to start and what to do to manage the symptoms that negatively impact health and lifestyle. A good start, here are some valuable health tips that – if applied right – can greatly improve your quality of life:

– Read more … Educate yourself!

Do not underestimate the power of educating yourself; it helps you understand how PCOS is affecting your body. When you learn about how the hormonal disturbance impacts your health you can be more proactive in taking simple, yet very effective, maneuvers to optimize your health and reduce the brunt on your lifestyle. Moreover, by educating yourself about PCOS you will feel more confident and in control.

– Be always active and in shape!

As studies confirm, losing weight has been shown to help improve symptoms for women with PCOS who are overweight. In combination with diet control, physical exercise is a cornerstone for managing PCOS symptoms. Two and a half hours of exercise weekly are recommended to help you reduce your body mass index (BMI) and improve the ability to maintain a healthy weight. Again, the more you learn about the benefits of physical exercise, the more likely you will be motivated to get started. When you experience the enhancements brought upon your health and body by regular exercise you will be more than willing to keep the momentum.

– Eat healthy … Live healthy!

Diet control is typical of the fundamental lifestyle modification that can help you manage your PCOS symptoms, especially in conjunction with physical exercise. In fact, Lifestyle interventions represent the first line of treatment medical experts recommend for PCOS, and these interventions are often up to the expectations. A high-fiber and low-carbohydrate diet is the ideal formula for shedding-off unwanted kilograms. Losing weight through healthy eating habits and regular exercise can help relieve PCOS symptoms, enhance lowering your blood sugar levels, improve the way your body utilizes its insulin, and may have a role in normalizing hormonal levels.

When to visit your gynaecologist?

Because menstrual and fertility problems can be your first warning signs of PCOS, it is always advisable to seek expert gynaecological care for proper assessment and management. Missed periods, delayed pregnancy for 12+ months, symptoms suggestive of PCOS (such as excessive hair growth on your face and body, acne, weight gain) or symptoms suggestive of Diabetes (such as frequent urination, increased thirst, always feeling hungry, lethargy and tiredness, blurring of vision, recurrent skin and genital infections) are all warning symptoms that ring a bell for you to seek professional help without delay.

The bottom line

If you have been struggling with symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), you may feel frustrated and depressed sometimes. Nevertheless, advocating proactive steps regarding your health can enhance your mood, boost your self-confidence, as well as reduce your symptoms. Moreover, your trusted gynaecologist can prescribe various new treatments and supplements to target specific symptoms associated with PCOS and minimize health and life-threatening risks linked to it. Always remember, you may not be able to cure the underlying problem but you can efficiently manage a lot of the related symptoms very, very well!

Dr. Nada Altabara
Specialist, Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Women`s Health Expert

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